Wolf population continues to grow in Washington

SPOKANE, Wash. — The population of wolves in Washington state continued to grow in 2017.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s annual survey found at least 122 wolves living in Washington last year. The survey found 22 wolf packs and 14 successful breeding pairs.

The agency said that the 2016 survey documented 115 wolves, 20 packs, and 10 breeding pairs.

All of the known wolf packs are located east of the Cascade Mountains.

Wolves were exterminated in Washington in the last century, but began to move back into the state from neighboring areas in this century.

According the 2017 survey, 15 of the 22 known packs are located in Ferry, Stevens, and Pend Oreille counties in the northeast corner of the state.

Wolves remain a protected species in the state.